At Apple's ‘Far Out' event on Wednesday, the American giant announced the launch of four new smartphone models — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple's new phones come with crash detection, emergency satellite communication, and improvements to the cameras and overall performance. The company also unveiled the Apple Watch Series 8 and a new Apple Watch SE model, alongside a new rugged Apple Watch Ultra smartwatch. And lastly, the AirPods Pro 2 truly wireless (TWS) earphones were launched as a successor to the 2019 high-end TWS earphones from Apple.
On this week's episode of Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, host Akhil Arora talks to Executive Editor Jamshed Avari who's currently at Apple's headquarters in California, Reviews Editor Roydon Cerejo and Senior Reviewer Sheldon Pinto. We discuss some of the key takeaways from Apple's latest product launch, from the new iPhone 14 models to the company's TWS earphones.
What does the new iPhone 14 series offer?
While this year's iPhone 14 retained the same price that its predecessor launched with, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max come with higher price tags. Meanwhile in the US, Apple's newest phones debuted with the same price tag as the iPhone 13 lineup last year. According to Jamshed, Apple's decision to keep the iPhone 13 pricing as-is, while the increase in the price of the iPhone SE (2022) may be disappointing for some users.
But what do you get for that extra money? The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max sport the Dynamic Island, Apple's fancy software integration for a “unified" hole punch and pill-shaped cutout. It is arguably the biggest change to Apple's smartphones since the iPhone X was introduced in 2017. The change may come in handy for users who won't need to access the notification centre as often, Roydon notes on the podcast. Thanks to software, Apple has enabled additional functionality around the cutouts, and developers can make use of APIs to offer more capabilities at the top of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
On the camera front, Apple has added a new 2x Telephoto mode to the camera on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, thanks to the new 48-megapixel camera. Apple says that users will only be able to access this mode in ProRaw mode, according to Jamshed. We'll have to wait and see how Apple's claims of improved camera functionality hold up in our review of the new phones.
Jamshed says the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feel very fresh and might motivate people on the fence, or those waiting to upgrade from older iPhone models. The new Always on Display (AoD) mode isn't just a minimalist text-only screen like Android phones — it's actually the iOS lock screen refreshing at 1Hz to conserve battery life. It almost changes the paradigm of locking your phone, he says.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus come with the A15 Bionic chip that debuted on last year's iPhone 13 models, with a five-core GPU for improved performance. The iPhone 14 Plus is significantly lighter compared to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Jamshed notes. But the changes are minimal at best — and Roydon feels that it's a good time to buy the iPhone 13 for most in India.
Apple goes Ultra with a new Watch
Apple's first device with the word ‘ultra' was launched at the ‘Far Out' event, in the form of the new Apple Watch Ultra. The company also launched the new Apple Watch Series 8 lineup, along with a new Apple Watch SE model. Sheldon says that the Apple Watch Ultra is a confusing product, while Jamshed — who tried it on after the launch event — says it's a bulky wearable. While features like the dive computer integration is interesting, Sheldon says the 60 hours of battery life isn't comparable to expedition watches that run for several days on a single charge.
Upgraded fancy AirPods
That leaves the AirPods Pro 2 — the second-generation of Apple's high-end TWS earbuds. They feature improved active noise cancellation and audio quality. Apple didn't announce support for Hi-Res audio, but Jamshed says that people who tried out the earbuds at the event said active noise cancellation has been improved considerably. We'll know more about how they work as part of our upcoming reviews.
You can listen to all of that in detail and more in our episode by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
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